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SYFY WIRE Stranger Things

‘Stranger Things’ star Joseph Quinn worried Eddie might step on Steve and Dustin’s bromance

"That dynamic — of Steve being quite possessive of Dustin, and Eddie being the jealous type — was one of the funnest kinds of dynamics in the whole show," Joseph Quinn said. 

By James Grebey

Over the course of four seasons, Stranger Things has developed a large and beloved cast of characters. Fans love Eleven, they love Hopper and Joyce, they love Nancy — they love everybody. Joining the cast of Stranger Things puts immense pressure on any actor, but Joseph Quinn, who plays the Dungeons & Dragons and metal-loving Eddie Munson in Season 4, had an extra bit of pressure. Not only did he have to fit into this extremely close group and make Eddie as beloved a character in only a couple of episodes, but he also needed to worry about stealing the thunder from one of the show’s best relationships: Steve and Dustin’s bromance. 

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Stranger Things Season 4 finale. 

When the season begins, Dustin, Mike, and Will are kind of intimidated by Eddie, the leader of the Hellfire Gang and the group’s Dungeon Master in their game of D&D. However, it turns out that despite his tough, outsider exterior, Eddie’s really a big softy, and as he becomes involved in the gang’s fight against Vecna and the Upside Down, he develops a close bond with Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo). 

“Little Gaten is a pretty difficult guy to be around, so it was quite hard to crowbar that chemistry in there,” Quinn deadpanned to SYFY WIRE during a press roundtable. 

“I’m being sarcastic,” he quickly clarified. “It was very fun. He’s a great person to work with.”

It’s not the first time that Dustin has forged a bond with a slightly older teen. In the second season, Dustin developed an odd-couple relationship with Steve (Joe Keery), Nancy’s ex who was somewhat of a lesser antagonist in the first season before coming into the fold as a fan-favorite character in later seasons. Even in Season 4, Steve is always lamenting that he’s stuck on babysitting duty, but you can tell he kind of loves it.

“Joe Keery and Gaten already had this kind of bromance legacy that people were very fond of, so I was kind of a little bit cautious that I might be treading on some people’s shoes,” Quinn said. “That dynamic — of Steve being quite possessive of Dustin, and Eddie being the jealous type — was one of the funnest kinds of dynamics in the whole show. It was great fun.” 

Eddie Munson Stranger Things 4 NETFLIX PRESS

However, Dustin and Eddie’s blossoming bromance ended far too soon when Eddie sacrificed himself to distract the swarm of demobats. Eddie died in Dustin’s arms, and although he went out a hero, the entire town of Hawkins thinks he’s a satanic villain who was responsible for all the murders. 

“I don’t think it’s very fair, but I think it’s kind of fitting to the rest of the theme of this season,” Quinn said of Eddie’s death and ruined reputation. “It’s more adult, it’s brutal, and it’s more frightening. It’s this kind of sense that life isn’t always easy. You feel that in the season. It’s more mature. Whilst we’d all like Eddie to be kind of celebrated and get the hero's death he deserves, I think it’s classier storytelling.”

Stranger Things Season 4 is now streaming on Netflix. 

Looking for more scares? Check out the new Firestarter in theaters and on Peacock now, as well as the first season of SYFY and USA's Chucky (which has a second season coming this fall).